2 August: Portiuncula Indulgence

From midnight tonight to midnight 2 August, you can gain the “Portinuncula” Indulgence.

Catholic Encyclopedia

St. Francis, as you know, repaired three chapels. The third was popularly called the Portiuncula or the Little Portion, dedicated to St. Mary of the Angels. It is now enclosed in a sanctuary at Assisi.

The friars came to live at the Little Portion in early 1211. It became the “motherhouse” of the Franciscans. This is where St. Clare came to the friars to make her vows during the night following Palm Sunday in 1212 and where Sister Death came to Francis on 3 October 1226.

Because of the favors from God obtained at the Portiuncula, St. Francis requested the Pope to grant remission of sins to all who came there. The privilege extends beyond the Portiuncula to others churches, especially held by Franciscans, throughout the world.

A plenary indulgence is a mighty tool for works of mercy and weapon in our ongoing spiritual warfare. A plenary indulgence is the remission, through the merits of Christ and the saints, through the Church, of all temporal punishment due to sin already forgiven.

To obtain the Portiuncula plenary indulgence, a person must visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels at Assisi, or a Franciscan sanctuary, or one’s parish church, with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels. Then perform the work of reciting the Creed and Our Father and pray for the Pope’s designated intentions. You should be free, at least intentionally, of attachment to venial and mortal sin, and truly repentant. Make your sacramental confession 8 days before or after. Participate at assist at Mass and receive Holy Communion 8 days before or after.

BTW… the faithful can gain a plenary indulgence on a day of the year he designates (cf. Ench. Indul. 33 1.2.d). You might choose the anniversary of your baptism or of another sacrament or name day.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gwen says:

    I will be at the Portiincula tomorrow. Thanks formthe reminder! We leave Rome for Assisi at about noon. Fr Z, I will say a prayer for you & your intentions there, and at the tomb of St Francis.

  2. djbm85 says:

    The faithful can also gain the indulgence by making a pilgrimage to Franciscan University’s Portiuncula Chapel. More information can be found here: http://www.franciscan.edu/StudentLife/Default.aspx?id=793&menu_id=109

  3. From “The Roman Sacristan’s Blog”, which is still available, who is now Brother Francis and is in Norcia, at the Monastery of St. Benedict.

    Portiuncula Indulgence

  4. sea the stars says:

    The Porziuncola indulgence is available every day of the year for those who visit the Porziuncola in Assisi.

    Also of note is the Plenary Indulgence attached to the 800th anniversary of the profession of Saint Clare of Assisi. This is in place until August 11th 2012.

    @Gwen: you will surely be blessed! I was there two weeks ago and it is an amazingly moving experience.

  5. Father K says:

    Thanks for the reminder – I had forgotten about it. Off to the Cathedral [next door!] this afternoon

  6. Jon W says:

    Is it possible to do the work if not in the state of grace? Fr. Z’s use of “intention” in describing the nom of no attachment to mortal or venial sin is what prompted the question. Thanks.

  7. If you can’t do the no attachment thing or other stuff, you can still get a partial indulgence. The Church doesn’t let any decent try go to waste. But it sounds like you don’t have to be in a state of grace at the moment you go to church and say the prayers, because you can go to Confession all those days afterward. So just be truly repentant and not attached to the sin, and then go to Confession as soon as you can.

  8. That’s “attached” as the opposite of “detached”, not necessarily anything about whether you actually have sin on your soul. Not wanting to sin, not telling yourself that it’s not really all that bad and everybody does it, or planning to sin again later — that’s being detached from sin.

  9. irishgirl says:

    I’ve been to the Portiuncula in Assisi-four times! (1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983) Loved it!
    I remember smelling the fragrance of roses-found out that the friars placed petals from the ‘thornless roses’ (the bush that St. Francis threw himself into to combat a temptation against purity) inside the thuribles and incensed the whole church with them! Lovely!
    Gwen-you’re so lucky to be there today for the Feast! Wish I could bilocate!

  10. cl00bie says:

    Can the day you designate be “the hour of my death”? Seems pretty convenient! You have a plenary indulgence that “goes off” when you need it the most. :)

  11. PostCatholic says:

    I remember that scent, too. I was there pre-earthquake. The spirit of humility is a character lesson from Francis that any faith tradition could honor.

  12. robtbrown says:

    Assisi is a wonder. My favorite location is the monastery a good hike up the mountain, built near the caves where St Francis stayed.


    And La Verna, where he received the stigmata, is perhaps even more remarkable.

  13. robtbrown says:

    On my first visit to Assisi we joined a group at the Basilica, led by a Franciscan, that stopped at the gift shop. When we mentioned to him that we were students at the Angelicum, he had us wait until everyone left, then he gave us a complete tour of the monastery, including the cell where St. Joseph Cupertino lived after Air Cupertino went out of business.

  14. BruceB says:

    One update to the Plenary Indulgence Conditions. EWTN has the following in their document library, which states that the period of time permitted for fulfilling the confession condition is no longer 8 days, but “about 20 days.” Originally established for the Jubilee Indulgence, it continues in force. Mother Church is ever generous!


  15. pinoytraddie says:

    I Completed The Portinucula Indulgence in the chapel of the Opus Dei University! DEO GRATIAS!!!(Does it count as such?)

  16. Stephen Matthew says:

    I completely missed this one, but I do have a question about what Fr. Z. references in the closing of his post. I am not familiar with this indulgence, and I seem not to be rightly understanding the document reference, as I have scanned through the The Enchiridion of Indulgences of 1968 in English translation and I am not seeing this one, but perhaps I am misreading the sitation. Any help anyone?

  17. I too was curious about the status of indulgences, such as the Portiuncula indulgence, granted before the reforms of the new Handbook of Indulgences. The new Handbook makes it pretty clear that all indulgences granted previously are no longer in force and only those contained in the Handbook carry indulgences. I believe that Fr. Z. has written about this previously. Wouldn’t this new law abolish even those indulgences granted “in perpetuity” before the reform? Have some specific indulgences not contained in the handbook have been “reissued”, such as Portiuncula indulgence?

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